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    • SimpleLiving
    • By SimpleLiving 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    • 47Posts
    • 1,446Thanks
    SimpleLiving
    A Simpler Life 2018
    • #1
    • 30th Nov 17, 11:27 AM
    A Simpler Life 2018 30th Nov 17 at 11:27 AM
    Every year at about this time, I get a yearning for a more simple way of life. A life that doesn't involve being bombarded with endless ads for x% off or buy a new sofa/kitchen/table/bed/car or your Christmas holiday will become a fate worse than death It really does get to me. I hate consumerism in general. It annoys me intensely that we waste so many resources making cheap non-essential rubbish that will end up in landfill a few months later. I think I must be some kind of grumpy, odd ball though as despite all the headlines about the economy and stagnant pay rises, the shops always seem to be rammed.
    Anyhow, I am planning to step back from it all in 2018:
    - no spending on unnecessary stuff. For example, I have enough clothes to last for years in one wardrobe and one chest of drawers. Books will come from the library. No fripperies!!
    - replace essential items where possible with good quality items preferably second hand, or british made or local where applicable
    - increase cooking from scratch. I buy too many things like biscuits etc that are far nicer and healthier homemade
    - make full use of garden and allotment for fruit, veg, preserves and wine.
    - forage for fruit, fungi, wood ....
    - spend more time outside, gardening, walking, enjoying nature to improve mental and physical well being
    - spend more time with my mum who is 76 and beginning to need me more
    - avoid pressure to conform!
    Anyone got any further ideas in how I could simplify life?
Page 29
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 7th Jan 18, 9:18 AM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,717 Thanks
    Katieowl
    I would agree with the courgetti. I also prefer it to the g/f pasta and it's cheaper. I have also spiralised carrots which are nice in stir fry. Might be difficult to do using a hand spiraliser, though as carrots are firmer than courgettes. Butternut squash is another one to try, although I bought that rather than made my own.
    Originally posted by pipkin71
    I lashed out fifteen quid for an electric one in the end, I used the handcranked one until it broke!
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 7th Jan 18, 9:28 AM
    • 7,775 Posts
    • 11,367 Thanks
    jackieblack
    Hi!
    I know I'm a bit late to this party, but have only just seen this thread (I can't imagine how I haven't stumbled across it before )

    My life has become much simpler over the past 3 years, after getting divorced and then a few months ago my daughter and her husband-to-be moving into their first home together, so now it is just me and my 2 grandkittens (daughter is renting and can't have them).

    However, I now find myself living alone in a 3 bedroom house but have boxes and boxes and boxes of 'stuff' cluttering up both 'spare' bedrooms and garage as well as my own bedroom, so this is one area of my life which needs to simplified further!
    Ex-H and daughter only took the things they wanted when they moved out and left everything else for me to sort out! Actually, to be fair, some stuff of daughter's is here because it's stuff she wants to keep but has no room for in their little rental home and there is still stuff of ex-h's here because it has taken him a while to get settled but which I have told him I want gone by the end of Jan (which will be 3 years since he left, so I don't think that's unreasonable). If I can get the 'stuff' down to just the smallest bedroom and half the garage I will be happy. (The loft will have to wait, I don't 'do' ladders and hence have never been in my loft )

    Although I have to de clutter, I don't believe in getting rid of things that I can use in future. For example bedding. I have more than I need but will pack the excess away to be retrieved when the sets I keep out now need to be replaced. I don't honestly see the benefit of getting rid of perfectly good stuff now and then having to buy more in the future.

    The trick, of course, will be to keep the amount of stuff I decide I want to keep and store within the limits of the space I can allocate for this. I need to only be keeping things that I consciously decide is worth sacrificing the space to keep, and not just because it's easier to shove it in a box in the spare room than it is to make a decision about the value of keeping it (IYSWIM)

    Apologies for the ramblings
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
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    • maryb
    • By maryb 7th Jan 18, 11:15 AM
    • 3,741 Posts
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    maryb
    Fuddle if you are making onion bhajis, try replacing a tablespoon of gram flour with a tablespoon of rice flour. It makes a wonderful crispy batter.

    My DD was very fussy about bhajis and when I first tried making them and didn't get them right first time, that was a cue for "your bhajis NEVER turn out as good as shop bought" ("never" was on the basis of one attempt of course). Then the next time I tried this trick of putting some rice flour in and now she wants home made all the time.
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • elmer
    • By elmer 7th Jan 18, 11:31 AM
    • 816 Posts
    • 1,424 Thanks
    elmer
    Jackieblack, I know how you feel, my husband has left, but I still have a lot of his stuff, he also cleared his parents house 10 years ago in a hurry and a lot of stuff came here to be sorted, its still waiting...

    However every cloud etc, Ive repainted the kitchen this weekend and found dust sheets, new rollers and paintbrushes all from his parents hoard, so all I had to buy was the paint, and now Ive got them, I can use them for all the other decorating Im planning too

    However the bag of 10 or 12 shoe cleaning brushes with polish still on them has gone in the bin!!

    Im off to see if anything else needs to go out, but like you I am reluctant to throw away stuff that I may need especially if its still good.

    elmer
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 7th Jan 18, 6:41 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 1,865 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    I needed gram flour for a recipe DD asked me to make before Xmas and couldn't get it in our reasonably sized town for love or money: Waitrose used to sell it but don't any more; H & B said the same, Tesco had none and the local health food shop didn't have any either. I looked on t'interweb and it said to blitz dried chick peas then sieve. This works fine but is very noisy! I only did a small amount at a time and got enough flour from a surprisingly small amount of chick peas.
    • Charly27
    • By Charly27 7th Jan 18, 7:59 PM
    • 223 Posts
    • 2,708 Thanks
    Charly27
    Fuddle if you are making onion bhajis, try replacing a tablespoon of gram flour with a tablespoon of rice flour. It makes a wonderful crispy batter.

    My DD was very fussy about bhajis and when I first tried making them and didn't get them right first time, that was a cue for "your bhajis NEVER turn out as good as shop bought" ("never" was on the basis of one attempt of course). Then the next time I tried this trick of putting some rice flour in and now she wants home made all the time.
    Originally posted by maryb
    Thanks for this MaryB Iíll get DH to try this - still low carb too.
    Proud to be dealing with my debts! DF Nerd # 1475
    Books read 15/48
    18 in 2018 4/18
    It is what it is.
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 7th Jan 18, 8:31 PM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,667 Thanks
    Bluegreen143
    I have started reading the first pages of this thread and itís all really resonated with me !!!9786;!!!65039;

    For me 2017 unofficially became a year of simplifying as I decluttered a lot of possessions and then decluttered my biggest time suck - my job !!!128516; - to become a stay at home mama to my just turned two year old.

    I always cook from scratch, bake bread, make jam and we have a lovely big garden with veg patch, greenhouse and chickens. Planning to do much more with it this year !!!9786;!!!65039; We do use the library and rather than expensive classes I take my son to a £2 weekly playgroup and meet friends for walks, trips round our great free museums or play dates in each otherís houses. I already knit and got crochet hooks for Christmas so I think everyone will be getting homemade presents this year when their birthdays roll round!

    We do need to cut back this year now as living off one salary with a mortgage to pay isnít easy, but itís been so worth it to get that time at home. We ended up spending too much at Christmas and had a couple of big bills just before so have a bit of a credit card balance for the first time in years which Iím determined to clear in the next few months.

    We are actively trying for another baby too so Iím trying to actively simplifying now in areas like our household routines etc to get in good habits before the inevitable disruption a new baby brings.

    One thing I learned the first time though is hiw to simplify baby care - you absolutely do not need all the crap the shops try and flog you for having a baby!

    Going to go back now and read all the old posts !!!128513;
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    Debts
    CC - £2,182.17/£2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - £1,680/£1,680
    Family loan 2 - £3,500/£5,000
    • threepenny bit
    • By threepenny bit 8th Jan 18, 1:45 AM
    • 214 Posts
    • 1,778 Thanks
    threepenny bit
    good start to our simpler life - sorted some things out this past week and put them on a fb local group, got rid of extra cups, storage jars, paper crafting items, 'books, toys etc that I was going to take to the charity shop. I thought I would give it try and if they didnt sell then they could go to the cs next week. Sold and collected the cash Now to look for more things I never use and try to make some money each month. The money I made I am using for groceries this month - we have tons of stuff in the freezers and cupboards and if I only get fresh stuff we can manage. Hopefully the freezers and cupboards will become a little more simple and not have so many unknown leftovers and boxes in them
    1st challenge to pay CC (JV1) 0/$2100 updated
    Christmas 2018 challenge 50/600
    Work on selling items and decluttering
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 8th Jan 18, 12:34 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 4,044 Thanks
    Cottage Economy
    I'll be joining you guys this year.

    For the first time ever, I couldn't think of anything I really wanted for Christmas. I already have too much stuff. Never had that happen before. Then I took a look around and realised that there is stuff stacked everywhere.

    All I want to do is read books, knit and garden in my spare time so why is there so much other stuff??? I work from home and wear the same 'favourite' clothes so why do I have drawers and cupboards bursting at the seams??

    Where did all this stuff come from????

    I started this week and got rid of four boxes of books to go to Ziffit totaling about 40 books and I have another ~30 books to go.

    Eyeing up the chest of drawers, particularly the underwear drawer, for a clear out. That is a veritable horror story.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 08-01-2018 at 12:39 PM.
    'Save £12k in 2018' £3000/£6,000 (50%)


    "...success in personal finance isn't about mastering the technicalities. It is about mastering yourself."
    • wort
    • By wort 8th Jan 18, 1:04 PM
    • 778 Posts
    • 10,209 Thanks
    wort
    Jackie- just to say it's more than enough time for ex to move his stuff, I would have took it to cs.
    I did the kondo thing, and someone on there think it was grey queen, said to bag up spares (try a vacuum bag to condense) and use up till rags a couple of bed sets for each bed. The spares need to be looked at realistically, how many have you got ?will you get through them ? Or will they perish before then. Do this with all excess, towels, underwear, even toiletries, can be put away using each 1 at a time until used up and not buying more until you are using the last.
    Also make sure your daughter really does want those things, because in my case and I've heard others say the same, we keep them for children then when you offer them back they don't want them.
    So make her look through it all and only let her keep the real joy giving items.
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 8th Jan 18, 4:42 PM
    • 11,900 Posts
    • 229,615 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Yeah, I think it was me and maybe others are also doing it; concentrating wear on one example of certain categories; one pillowcase, one tea towel, and on a few examples of others. Two towels are rotating around, one set of bedsheets, a couple of pairs of jammies etc.

    The intention being to fully use an item up and then get it into textile recycling, rather than have cupboards and cupboards of part-worn things. I don't want to be too SABLE'd as there will also be the parental stash to inherit one of these days, and there's a lot over there.

    In my early fifties, I have come to the conclusion that I may never need to purchase another of certain types of domestic textiles. I shan't give away what I have, but work through them one at a time.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 8th Jan 18, 4:52 PM
    • 11,900 Posts
    • 229,615 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Does anyone else remember being taught how to clean hankies in Domestic Science lessons?

    I would imagine there are more than a couple of generations now that don't know how to properly clean them and just chuck them in a 30C wash.
    Originally posted by dND
    My mother has a large aluminium pan which is exclusively reserved for boiling hankies, with a small amount of detergent. Too much of the latter and it overflows onto the stovetop like a volcano. Boil, through rinse, line dry and a good iron - lovely!
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • maryb
    • By maryb 8th Jan 18, 6:43 PM
    • 3,741 Posts
    • 46,045 Thanks
    maryb
    I remember a lot of houses in my childhood had Baby Burcos for boiling whites, nappies, teatowels, hankies, flannels also sheets and towels if anyone in the house was ill.

    I suppose in the days before antibiotics, absolutely rigid attention to hygiene was one of the few ways of protecting against infections. An electric Baby Burco was a lot less work than a stove top boiler. And a mangle that fixed on the edge of the sink rather than the big mangle in the yard was also considered a big improvement

    I think they used to grate a bit of Sunlight soap or Fairy block soap into the water and add a spoonful of washing soda. I think the things must have come out a bit dingy because everyone used to swish a blue block through the rinsing water.
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 8th Jan 18, 6:56 PM
    • 8,058 Posts
    • 28,170 Thanks
    Primrose
    I think the things must have come out a bit dingy because everyone used to swish a blue block through the rinsing water.
    Originally posted by maryb

    I manage the same effect without the swish of blue block when a couple of pairs of my husband's black socks accidentally get mixed in with all the whites in my washing machine!
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 8th Jan 18, 7:23 PM
    • 11,900 Posts
    • 229,615 Thanks
    GreyQueen
    Oh, I remember the blue block, there was still one kicking around the cleaning cupboard when I was a child in the early seventies. Reckitt's Blue, if memory serves? I can recall once having it dabbed on a wasp sting, allegedly to relieve the pain, but can't recall if it worked or not.

    Well, with aussie flu in most areas of the country, including mine, stringent attention to hygiene is not bad thing, imo. I have a slightly weak immune system, due to a pre-existing medical condition and the treatment thereof, so am always a bit wary around this season and have stocked up on OS comforts like vicks etc.

    A good trick worth remembering is to be wary of going out in very cold weather. My family are on tenterhooks as a relation in her late seventies, normally hale, had a bit of a funy turn whilst out hiking in the cold today, and is in A & E, I'm waiting for a phone call. You can have a bad go-round by being out in exceptionally cold weather if unaccustomed to it, so be careful, all you lovely peeps.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • Sayschezza
    • By Sayschezza 8th Jan 18, 8:26 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 2,418 Thanks
    Sayschezza
    Mary B quite the reverse. Boiled whites in the Baby Burco came out whiter than whites from an automatic. Wish I still had one as although I am ok with my white washing it!!!8217;s not the same white although I can!!!8217;t explain the difference. Sunglasses had to be worn.!!!55357;!!!56842;
    • maryb
    • By maryb 8th Jan 18, 8:40 PM
    • 3,741 Posts
    • 46,045 Thanks
    maryb
    Must have been my mother then - she was never the world's most houseproud.

    She was unlucky in that she went to a grammar school in the 1920s/30s where they were actively discouraged from domesticity. She was 21 when war broke out and had never learned to cook. Then of course with rationing it was very difficult if you had to learn from scratch when you simply could not afford to waste anything.

    That sort of thing takes a long time to work its way out. I remember when I was little, eggs were considered too expensive to allow me to experiment with cooking with. In fact I still think of eggs as being an extravagant ingredient
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • maryb
    • By maryb 8th Jan 18, 8:41 PM
    • 3,741 Posts
    • 46,045 Thanks
    maryb
    I wonder if the blue block had vinegar in it - which of course is quite a good fabric conditioner and neutralises any left over soap. Because you should use vinegar for a wasp sting and bicarbonate for a bee sting.

    (Winegar for wasps)
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • dND
    • By dND 9th Jan 18, 7:35 AM
    • 455 Posts
    • 6,513 Thanks
    dND
    My mother has a large aluminium pan which is exclusively reserved for boiling hankies, with a small amount of detergent. Too much of the latter and it overflows onto the stovetop like a volcano. Boil, through rinse, line dry and a good iron - lovely!
    Originally posted by GreyQueen
    I have memories of boiling in a saline solution to remove the mucus; then the good old soap and very hot water - the old twin tubs were good for this too

    I remember a lot of houses in my childhood had Baby Burcos for boiling whites, nappies, teatowels, hankies, flannels also sheets and towels if anyone in the house was ill.

    I suppose in the days before antibiotics, absolutely rigid attention to hygiene was one of the few ways of protecting against infections. An electric Baby Burco was a lot less work than a stove top boiler. And a mangle that fixed on the edge of the sink rather than the big mangle in the yard was also considered a big improvement

    I think they used to grate a bit of Sunlight soap or Fairy block soap into the water and add a spoonful of washing soda. I think the things must have come out a bit dingy because everyone used to swish a blue block through the rinsing water.
    Originally posted by maryb
    Don't forget that today an awful lot of optical brightener is added to commercial detergent. In simple terms, reducing the residual soap -or using much less than the 'recommended' and a bit of bicarb in the wash should do the same. I also think that the polyester in the mix these days has a tendency to yellow and certainly can't be returned to bright white with a drop of bleach.

    With the spectre of antibiotic-resistant viruses upon us, I think it's time basic hygiene is taught again rather than relying on an advert that says with a quick spray, 99% of all germs are eliminated
    Time to get off my soapbox and get back to decluttering

    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 9th Jan 18, 7:53 AM
    • 7,775 Posts
    • 11,367 Thanks
    jackieblack
    With the spectre of antibiotic-resistant viruses upon us,
    Originally posted by dND
    Erm... All viruses are antibiotic-resistant, antibiotics only work for bacterial infections. Anti-virals are used for viruses (under certain circumstances)
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
    (Revera linguam latinam vix cognovi )
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